Half an hour later the trio had left the Ice Kingdom and were now walking across the ocean of green that made up the grasslands of Ooo, the distant form of the Tree Fort just visible in half a mile away.
Finn strode on purposefully, a wide grin on his face as he tirelessly moved forward, whilist Jake and Flame Princess lagged behind, not able to keep up as easily with the hero's fast pace.
"So what's the plan bro?" Jake said with a slight pant of fatigue. "It feels like we've been walking for hours and I'm all tired from having to reassemble the Ice King's drum kit…"
"Man you can be so lazy Jake. Why don't you just stretch us to where we're going?"
"Because I don't know…"
"The Candy Kingdom." Finn said with a grin. "Thought I told you when we set off…"
Jake and Flame Princess shrugged and the boy continued.
"Look curing the Ice King's gonna take a bit more than us beating up some monsters or dungeon crawling. We need someone with brains…" he added, to which Flame Princess raised an eyebrow.
"No I didn't mean that!" he said quickly and the princess of fire smiled. "I meant we need like a super genius!"
"So a giant nerd?" Flame Princess said with a giggle.
"Well there's only one of those near here and she should know exactly what to do…"
They kept walking and Finn noticed Jake slowing down and giving the boy a sly wink. Finn grinned.
"So er…FP." He said, slightly more awkwardly than he'd have liked to. "You want to er…hold hands."
It was something new that Jake had taught him to try and do when he was with Flame Princess but, up until now, the adventeurer, who wasn't scared of dungeons, monsters or even the Lich, hadn't had the courage to say.
But Flame Princess only smiled.
"Won't you burn your hand off?"
Finn's grin widened as he reached inside his pack and withdrew a slightly scorched pink oven mitt.
"I'll be fine."
And so the two walked along, oven mitted hand in burning hand, for a few happy minutes, until Jake interjected a concerned tone in his voice.
"Sorry to break up the moment guys but check out that bird up there…" he said, shielding his eyes from the bright sun.
"Wait a sec." the young hero said softly as he saw the dark object above them. "That's no bird it's a…"
"Ice King!" Jake shouted and dived for cover. "He's back to get revenge!"
The frozen monarch was visible now, flying straight down towards them, grinning inanely as he plummeted downward, Gunter in his arms flapping madly.
With a blast of snow and ice he came down to earth, cushioning his fall with flurries of cold wind.
"My boys!" he shouted happily and grabbed Finn and Jake in a crushing bear hug whilst Flame Princess looked on with a bemused expression.
"Oh hey…Ice King…" Jake spluttered as the old man's icy arms crushed the yellow dog and his brother. "Would you mind…letting us go?"
Instantly they were released, gasping for air, the Ice King standing over them with a wide grin on his face, brushing stray specks of snow off his blue robe, which was covered in visible scorch marks and holes.
"So er…whatcha up to?" he said happily.
Finn rubbed the back of his head nervously.
"Oh it's you…we thought you were still…"
"With your wizard buddies!" Jake interjected quickly, hoping to take advantage of the Ice King's terrible memory to save them from an angry tirade at trashing his place again.
The Ice King shrugged as they began to walk on, Gunter waddling quickly behind his master.
"I kind of forgot that last time I went there those guys tried to kill me and this time was no different… But I'm with my real buds now!" he said, putting his arms around the two adventurers, who both swapped looks of concern.
"Are you sure this guy can be cured?" Flame Princess whispered to Finn and the boy only shrugged.
"I don't know, but maybe PB has some sort of idea. I mean, if she doesn't then it's not likely to exist eh?"
By now they had reached the top of another of the grassland's low hills, and the Candy Kingdom itself was finally revealed, the sprawling city of sugar and sweets with the towering Candy Castle at its centre bright in the afternoon sun.
"The Candy Kingdom?" Ice King muttered in an uneasy tone. "I'm sure there's a law or something that I'm banished from here. Plus Princess Bubblegum will be so jealous now that I've moved on from here after that whole thing with the island lady and the Party God."
Finn sighed as the Ice King continued to babble on. This cure couldn't come soon enough.
As they came to the imposing gate, the toast drawbridge down and the pretzel portcullis up, the adventurers found themselves confronted by the squat form of Peppermint Butler, flanked by four armed banana guards, two of them hefting striped candy cane rifles.
"Oh hey Peppermint Butler, we were just…" Jake began, but the small candy man raised a hand.
"Stop right there boys, and your highness." He added, bowing slightly to Flame Princess, who blushed. "But we can't let…him in here anymore." And he pointed straight at the Ice King, who only shrugged and began to walk forward.
"Don't you worry I'll get us through." He said confidently, and walked straight towards the gate, until there was a dull bang and the ground in front of him erupted in a tiny crater and one of the banana guards lowered his smoking candy rifle with a grim frown.
"I'm sorry but you'll just have to leave the Ice King here where we can keep an eye on him." Peppermint Butler said firmly. "You are all free to enter but this man will just have to go. The princess does not wish to…"
At this point Finn turned red and, with a loud shout, silenced the small candy man mid speech.
"Cram that!" he shouted. "We need to see Princess Bubblegum about an urgent quest related to the Ice King, so unless you're going to move I'll have to move you myself!"
"Ok take it easy." The candy man said, raising his hands in a calming gesture. "I didn't er…realise it was so important. I guess because it's you…"
He had barely finished talking before the group before him were gone, Jake grabbing Finn and the Ice King and, growing to the size of an elephant, simply stepped over the wall on his slender legs, Flame Princess flying over as a small fiery comet.
As he watched the adventurers disappear into the Candy Kingdom Peppermint Butler turned to the shocked banana guards behind him and sighed.
"The princess will have my hide for this one for sure…"
The princess of the Candy Kingdom herself was sat in her lab as the adventurers sped to her, leafing through an ancient manuscript as she chatted over a small dimensional communicator with her old friend, Marceline the Vampire Queen, who was currently on a weeklong break with her demonic father in the strange world of the Nightosphere.
"Look I know it might seem bad at the moment…" she said softly to the image of Marceline on the communicator, who was sat, pale faced as always, but with a single tear tracing down her cheek, the only indicator of her current emotional state, whilst the fiery form of the Nightosphere was just visible behind her.
"It's not just bad it's terrible!" the vampire declared. "Dad just doesn't understand me. He seems to think he can do whatever he wants and I won't care."
Bubblegum nodded, trying to offer her friend some advice, but was interrupted by the sound of someone knocking heavily on the lab door, and the distinct sound of Finn the human's voice, slightly muffled through the thick chocolate door.
"Sorry Marceline but something's come up…"she said to the emotional vampire, who only shrugged. "Finns here and I think it must be important if he's smashing on my door like that…"
"Speak soon?" Marceline said softly, a slight smile crossing her pale features and revealing her small fangs.
Bubblegum nodded; glad the normally antisocial vampire was actually opening up to her for once, then ended the conversation and flipped down the communicator's lid.
Hanging up her heavy white lab coat to reveal a shimmering pink royal dress, and placing her circular glasses in a small wooden case, she went to open the door.
However, just as her hand went to the doorknob, it was slammed open and a familiar blue cloaked old man flew on.
"Ice King!" she shrieked and stepped back, her hand reaching in her dress for the small pocket taser she had whipped up in a few minutes whilst bored a few days ago.
She was about to give the grinning old man a blast of electricity before Finn leapt into the room, shielding the Ice King.
"Calm down PB, he's with us!"
Bubblegum raised an eyebrow in confusion, but withdrew her hand from her pocket.
"Ok…" she said uneasily. "So long as there's a good explanation."
Both Finn and Jake started talking at the same time, both trying to tell the same story.
"Well we were in the Ice Kingdom…" Finn began.
"And Ice King was all…" Jake added.
"But then we beat him down!"
"…of course I did most of the…"
Bubblegum stepped back and raised her hands.
"Ok ok, I didn't get any of that."
Then she felt a slight burning tap on her arm and saw Flame Princess, who smiled.
"Look." She began. "I was over at Ice King's, these two come in and beat him up because they thought he had kidnapped me and trashed the place. They find out we were only doing a music lesson, Ice King flies off and, while clearing up, Finn decided that we should do something nice for him to make up for it so we're off to find a way to cure him…"
"Cure the Ice King?" Bubblegum said with a confused look.
"Do you remember that winter get together we had a few months back? Jake said.
Bubblegum smiled and nodded.
"The one where we all wore silly jumpers and watched those videos of …"
At that point a flash of recognition crossed her mind.
"The Ice King as a human!" she said finally, causing the frozen monarch to look up from Gunter, who had only just walked in, frowning and babbling in his strange penguin language.
She looked over at the old man, who had returned to petting his small penguin friend, and gave a small smile of sympathy to him.
"Ok let's do it."
A few minutes later and they were in the castle library below the main hall, a dusty expanse of wooden bookshelves crammed with ancient yellowing texts and thick books.
"So what are you looking for here?" Flame Princess said with a frown from the doorway, slightly annoyed that she couldn't accompany the others through the highly flammable books and had been left to babysit the Ice King, who was currently scribbling down something in a notebook which he wouldn't let her or Gunter see, although she had seen that the cover had what looked like a female Finn and a fat brown and white cat on it.
"Well PB says she has a book that could tell us the right way to start this thing!" Jake called from across the room, stretching his yellow head across the maze of bookshelves, the princess and Finn lost behind the walls of wood and paper.
As Jake shouted something else across to the sulking Flame Princess, Bubblegum led Finn deeper into the room, every so often pausing to check a dusty shelf before sighing and moving on.
"So have you thought of anything?" Finn said as she checked what felt like the hundredth shelf and found nothing.
"Just a hunch…" she said as she carried on, brushing a lock of pink hair from her face as she blew dust off a yellowing piece of parchment. "But if I can find this book I could check my theory."
Finn sighed. This quest was more boring than he thought it would be.
But then Bubblegum gave a small gasp of surprise from up ahead and he rushed forward, instinctively reaching for his huge crimson sword before he saw the grin on her face as she reached for a heavy brown book.
For a second he felt a slight twinge of recognition at the heavy tome, but then the princess finally brought its full form out and held it in her arms,and he felt his jaw literally drop.
"Yes." Bubblegum said with a smile as the young adventurer looked on in confusion. "It's not the same one but do you really think I would only have one of these?"
Finn felt his heart beat slightly faster as he looked at the book in Bubblegum's hands, and managed to say only two words in a shocked tone.